WH&Y authors: Professor Fiona Brooks

Citation: Antonia Simon, Charlie Owen, Rebecca O’Connell & Fiona Brooks (2018) Changing trends in young people’s food behaviour and wellbeing in England in relation to family affluence between 2005 and 2014, Journal of Youth Studies, 21:5, 687-700



Research shows that healthy eating improves outcomes for children and that inequalities in diet are socially determined. However, little is known about how associations between household income and the diet intake of children and young people change over time. Descriptive analysis was carried out using the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children survey data for England for the years 2005, 2009 and 2014 to examine how breakfast, fruit, vegetable and soft drink consumption compares for young people aged 11–15 years by family affluence (low versus medium/high), gender and wellbeing measures. The results show young people in the low FAS group generally reporting less healthy eating behaviours, and differences by gender such as more soft/sugary drink consumption and lower consumption of fruit and vegetables for boys. Young people in the low FAS group also tend to have lower self-reported ratings on other wellbeing measures examined. There is evidence of a ‘closing gap’ between the FAS groups over time in terms of some behaviours. The patterns reported here are complex to interpret but do highlight some potentially positive effects of policies for addressing poor diets and dietary inequalities as well as some concerns given the UK context of continuing political uncertainty.

About The Authors


WH&Y Chief Investigator Professor Fiona Brooks passed away on 13 January 2023, after a short ill...